In these sleep-deprived tough economic times, a bonafide date with the professor is a rarity. Some people have weekly or monthly dates with their spouses. We have something like two or three dates – a year.
Not ideal, certainly. But it won’t always be like this. Some day in the not so distant future, we will go out to eat again. And perhaps go clubbing afterwards. Because we are both excellent dancers.
Of course, until that day comes, we will have to make do with the standby entertainment option for people who are too tired or thrifty to go out: the home date. Even Gwyneth Paltrow has waxed philosophically about the importance of acquiring a few good, simple recipes that can be prepared after kids go to bed. So the adults of the house can sit down and have dinner together. Without the benefit of complaints about the food and guests getting in and out of their booster seat repeatedly.
Presumably such a ‘recipe’ would be relatively fast. Because who wants to put kids to bed at 7 or 7.30 only to have to spend another two hours cooking? And such a recipe should taste like something you might really enjoy eating. Because who wants to sit down at a table and eat a box of Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese?
So, after B3 arrived I began searching for recipes that didn’t require twenty ingredients and could be prepared in less than an hour. Not for date purposes, per se, just for regular weeknight eating purposes. I searched through a stack of recipes I’d printed but hadn’t made (now there’s a habit of mine that irritates the professor) and found this.
I was skeptical. Maybe it called for too few ingredients? Maybe it was too easy? But, one (week) night when I was actually in a frame of mind to make dinner and had all the necessary ingredients and the three cherubs miraculously cooperated, I made it.
And loved it.
The kids, however, did not love it. The Hen refused to eat it, and the Gort ate his allotment of bites but was very vocal about his displeasure. Luckily their father loved it, too. So much so, that he ate nearly all of it.
Which is just as well since reheated leftovers are not nearly as good.
So, Friday night came. We had an hour after the boys went to bed, before friends were due to arrive for dessert. I had some already-cooked spaghetti sitting in the fridge. And tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese, too. On a whim, I decided to make the pasta dish for a spur of the moment mini-date.
Good food at a clean, quiet table. With a little bit of wine and conversation? Not too shabby.
Next time we’ll get out the ipod and bust a move.